Heriot-Watt climbs student survey ladder

Heriot-Watt has considerably improved its position to 29th out of 120 UK universities in the 2011 National Student Survey (NSS), up from 47th last year. The University's position is based on an overall score averaged over 22 questions, giving a figure of of 79%, up from 76% in 2010.

Chemical Engineering  at Heriot-Watt came top in the UK, with  Chemistry second and  Civil Engineering fourth. Each of these, along with  Psychology and  Biology were top in Scotland, and in all, nine subject areas were ranked in the top ten UK-wide. For the third year running 100% of Chemical Engineering students participating in the NSS reported 'overall satisfaction' with their degree programme.

With a response rate of 78%, no other university in the UK had a higher rate of participation in the survey.

High student participation

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal, welcomed the results, which place seven subject areas in the top quartile.

This excellent outcome reflects ... the positive partnerships we have with students and their representatives.

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal Heriot-Watt University

"I am delighted with the outcome of this year's survey. Not only have we seen considerable improvement in Heriot-Watt's rating, but to have these based on such a high student participation rate means we can be sure that these positive results represent a real strength of feeling among our students.

"This excellent outcome reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff in all areas of University life, and also reflects the positive partnerships we have with students and their representatives. Everyone should feel a sense of pride in our achievement"

Overall satisfaction

This year the NSS also included a new weighted comparison of universities' ratings for Overall Satisfaction with what would be expected of different institutions in terms of their subject mix and the composition of their student bodies, areas which affect NSS results. Under this new system Heriot-Watt outperforms its benchmark by four percentage points, coming joint second in Scotland and joint twelfth in the UK.

Further details of the NSS results can be seen at www.unistats.com.